More on the false rehabiliting Judas story.
But in statements to ZENIT, Monsignor Brandmüller clarified that "this news has no foundation."
"Reading the Times I discovered that a campaign exists to rehabilitate Judas and that I am the leader," the Vatican official said. "I have not talked with the Times. I can’t imagine where this idea came from.
"In regard to the manuscript, it must be emphasized that the apocryphal gospels belong in the main to a special literary genre, a sort of religious novel that cannot be considered as a documentary source for the historical figure of Judas."
Monsignor Brandmüller continued: "We await the critical edition, which will certainly be interesting from the point of view of the history of ancient literature, but it is impossible to express judgments in advance."
He added: "Around 180 A.D., Irenaeus of Lyon, [in] ‘Against the Heretics,’ I,31,1, spoke of an alleged apocryphal gospel of Judas. Later, Epiphanius and a pseudo-Tertullian spoke of it. According to these sources, the apocryphal gospel of Judas was a Greek text of Gnostic origin, written by the Cainites’ sect, in the middle of the second century.
"The Gnostic sect of the Cainites attributed a positive value to all the negative figures of the Jewish and Christian Scriptures, such as the tempter serpent, Cain — hence their name — Esau and Judas. In any case, the discovery of this manuscript is very interesting, from the point of view of knowledge of paleo-Christian literature."
Some observers maintain that an eventual rehabilitation of Judas would favor the dialogue with Jews.
Monsignor Brandmüller responded: "The dialogue between the Holy See and the Jews continues profitably on other bases, as Benedict XVI mentioned in his visit to the Synagogue of Cologne, in the summer of 2005 during World Youth Day, and as he stressed last Monday in his meeting with the chief rabbi of Rome."
I am not exactly sure what the logic is behind the idea that a rehabilitation of Judas would favor dialogue?
How about this? Judas conspired with the Sanhedrin to kill Jesus. If it turns out Judas wasn’t such a bad guy after all, maybe the Sanhedrin weren’t such bad guys, either? Let’s talk it over.
Hey, I took a shot at it.